Christopher Cizek (left) and Sophie Herzing earned the JoAnne Day Student of the Year award from PennAce.
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Two Lycoming College students garnered the attention of the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Employers for their work capturing the heart of Williamsport. The pair earned the “JoAnne Day Student of the Year Award” in the liberal arts category from the association in December for community stories they obtained during a summer internship with the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership.
Lycoming’s winners, Sophie Herzing, a junior creative writing and painting major from Saint Marys, Pa., and Christopher Cizek, a senior creative writing and digital media communications major from Galeton, Pa., completed their internship as part of the College’s Williamsport Internship Summer Experience (WISE) program.
This year marks the third time in a row that Lycoming College students won one of the association’s awards. They will receive their award and a cash prize at the annual conference in State College, Pa., in May.
For their project, the pair spent 10 weeks last summer interviewing more than 70 members of the Williamsport community to capture their stories and document what they value most about their community. To do so, they traveled to different parts of the city to conduct video and audio interviews, connecting with people with differing ways of life, from government officials to homeless individuals. The data and stories compiled as part of the project will guide city and county officials with vision statements, decision-making and funding to reflect the shared values expressed in the stories.
“This year, the association received more nominations from members than ever, so the competition for all of the awards was intense,” said Anne M. Landon, career adviser for Lycoming’s Institute for Management Studies and long-time PennACE college representative. She and Kristin Laudenslager, career adviser for the physical sciences, nominated the pair on behalf of Lycoming College.
In presenting the stories, both in video and written form, Herzing and Cizek used their creative talents to bring stories to life in unique ways that honored each of the individuals. They also created themed videos that blend stories from very different individuals to show the common values that exist between the city’s diverse populations. Their stories are available here: heartofwilliamsport.org/category/stories.
The association gives awards in four categories — technical, liberal arts, business and associate degree programs. PennACE is a non-profit service organization dedicated to support and advocacy for experiential education, career development and employment in Pennsylvania. Membership is composed of more than 80 colleges, universities and employers throughout the commonwealth.